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Ital Da City Painter: Bringing smiles & inspiring positive change through reggae/dancehall music

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For ardent listeners of the premier radio station in the Upper East Region, they have become used to hearing and enjoying ‘conscious music’ between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Sunday. But do you know the man behind City Bus, the most-listened-to reggae / dancehall programme in the Upper East Region?

Born Abugbilla Jonathan in the 80s, Ital is more than just a radio presenter; he is a nurse, entrepreneur, and loving father with an unwavering passion for spreading positivity and inspiration.

A few years after completing college, Ital enrolled at the Beacon Radio Institute in early 2013, where his radio journey truly began. Inspired by the likes of DJ Kimo of URA Radio and later Blakk Rasta, Ital found his calling in reggae music—an influential genre that resonates deeply with his soul.

For Ital, reggae music is a powerful force that inspires, liberates, and emancipates the mind like no other genre can. He believes in the evolution of reggae and dancehall music and takes the time to read, research, and broaden his musical knowledge to better serve his listeners. The joy of connecting with his audience and putting a smile on someone’s face fuels Ital’s passion for his craft.

Throughout his career, Ital has experienced significant milestones, including receiving praise from his mentor Blakk Rasta, who acknowledged him as one of the finest reggae presenters in the country.

Additionally, My Art Gallery Exhibition (MAGE) and the Upper East Music Awards (UEMA) have honored him with citations, solidifying his commitment to his art.

“The listeners loving me doing my thing anytime I come on air means everything to me because putting a smile on someone’s face means everything to me. However, the highlights of my career were when Blakk Rasta listened to me once and told me I was one of the finest in terms of reggae presentations on radio in this country. There’s no feeling greater than a mentor endorsing a mentee, you know! Also, in the last two years, MY ART GALLERY EXHIBITION (MAGE) and the Upper East Music Awards (UEMA) gave me citations, which meant a lot to me.”

Ital’s dedication to self-improvement is evident in his practice of recording and reviewing his radio programs, correcting mistakes, and finding ways to enhance his connection with his audience. He understands the importance of maintaining the patois vibe essential to reggae and dancehall presentations, ensuring that the music and messages resonate authentically with his listeners.

“No one listens to me more than myself. I record my programs, listen to myself, correct my mistakes, and try to improve upon them. That way, I figure out how to connect better with them. I also try to play music listeners can easily relate to while making attempts to explain music I think might sound complicated, and automatically, the vibe is kept intact. The patois factor is a key that I possess. Every reggae dancehall presenter needs that patois vibe.”

Despite the challenges of radio not being financially lucrative in the Upper East region, Ital remains steadfast in his advice to aspiring reggae radio presenters to focus on consistency, improvement, and patience.

“Overall, radio in general in the Upper East Eegion doesn’t pay. And so I will advise anyone venturing into reggae on radio to get money off their minds before even getting into it. With this at the back of their minds, they have to be consistent with what they do while improving upon it and being patient at the same time.”

He believes in the power of radio to inform, educate, and entertain, emphasizing the responsibility of using reggae music as a tool to address social issues and educate the masses.

“Radio is meant basically to inform, educate, and entertain, and every human, they say, deserves by nature to know. Reggae, as a genre is closely linked to social issues, history, etc. I therefore owe it a responsibility to edu-info-tain (educate, inform and entertain) the masses. This drives me to read broadly anytime I’m preparing for the studio.”

Ital’s dedication to the “edu-info-tainment” of his audience is a testament to his deep-rooted commitment to making a positive impact through his work. As he continues to inspire and uplift others with his love for reggae music, his genuine passion and unwavering spirit shine brightly, illuminating the path for a better and more informed world.

Source: A1Radioonline.com101.1Mhz|Portia Dogbe|Ghana

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